Chelsea started a bit sleepy after all the Christmas festivities and were unable to deal with Palace’s early pressure at all. Thankfully, Palace didn’t really create any significant chances, and in fact, we would threaten more on the counter. Ian Maatsen already saw an effort cleared off the line before Malo Gusto and Christo Nkunku combined to create a great chance for Misha Mudryk to finish off.
Having grabbed the early lead inside of 15 minutes, Chelsea pushed for a quick second, producing several brilliant passages of play: Jackson setting up fantastic chances for Nkunku and Mudryk. But the former managed only an airshot while Henderson made a brilliant stop on the latter after a slightly heavy touch.
And then our impetus waned and focus wondered, and a missed header by Levi Colwill gave Olise a chance to equalize in first-half stoppage time. He did not miss.
Unfortunately, Chelsea looked entirely bereft of ideas at the start of the second half — only had the 15 minutes to talk about it — and the first set of changes just before the hour mark didn’t do much to change that situation.
Madueke did inject some impetus and urgency, but Jackson missed a sitter than had a goal ruled out for a clear offside by VAR. Thankfully, Madueke was able to also win a penalty (given on a belated VAR review) — taken and scored nervelessly himself.
- Several changes from midweek, some enforced, some not. First PL start for Maatsen. First Chelsea start for Nkunku. Sticking with the 4-2-3-1.
- Lavia makes his debut off the bench, just before the hour-mark.
- Gilchrist makes his senior debut in stoppage time.
- Three straight league wins at home.
- Chelsea back in the top ten at the halfway mark of the season.
- Next up: Luton Town away on Saturday